Thursday, March 20th in the NFL Free Agency Signings: Two shades of Meh…

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Thursday brought us more power-packed news from the fine folks at ESPN, who brought us news regarding two signings that you are supposed to care about but shouldn’t:  Former Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester inking a deal with the Atlanta Falcons, and former Minnesota Vikings outdoorsman Jared Allen has all but signed deal with the Seattle Seahawks which might even be done by the time you’re reading this.

Excuse me…(yawns)  It’s going to be a serious challenge for me to get
excited about either one of these signings.

First let’s start with Hester…In an article written by Michael C. Wright, the
author lets us know that Hester is “Known locally as The Windy City
Flyer”.  That’s hilarious because I live in Illinois and I’ve never heard anybody refer to him by that name.  He points out that Hester is still effective because last year he racked up 249 kick return yards against the Minnesota Vikings, which is a bullshit statistic for a couple of reasons:  1) The Minnesota Vikings put the “special” in special teams.  They’re horrible, so bragging about that comes with an asterisk.  2)  Return yardage stats are garbage anyway.  If you take the ball out from 3 yards deep and run it out to the 22 on a kickoff, that’s 25 yards with very little effort involved.  So what?  That’s a less than average runback, and you can easily see how stats like this one could be
inflated.

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There’s no doubt that Hester is one of the most electrifying special teams
players of all time.  But he was shopped around like crazy and while no
player in the league gets younger, return guys get old faster than ANY of
them.  This is a pickup that will turn into more jersey and ticket sales
than points, and it’s strange for another reason – in no article involving this
story has it been mentioned how much money he’ll get over that 36 month
period.  That tells me that not only did he not get the ludicrous amount
that he was asking the Bears for, he probably got paid even less than he had
originally expected after the first round of speaking to ownership about the
league.

Now let’s discuss Allen.  He’s 32 years old, and would make an excellent
professional wrestler with his stupid little sack dance that we’re all sick to
death of.  The Seahawks have a need for a guy like J-Rod, because they
released DEs Chris Clemons and Red Bryant.  But let’s be honest, that
position is all about speed off of the end, and at 32 he might be the only one
in the league aging faster than Hester.

Vikings Allen celebrates sack of Ravens Flacco during NFL action in Minneapolis

Sports Blog Movement fun quiz: Which popular musical is this shot from? If you guessed “NFC West Side Story”, you’ve won a bus ride into a brick wall…

And I hate to harp on the regional / culture thing like I always do, but
Seattle isn’t really a place for a guy like Jared Allen, and Jared Allen isn’t
really a guy for a team like Seattle.  For some reason, I can’t see a city
that liberal welcoming the second coming of Ted Nugent with open arms –
especially if he doesn’t produce which I can see as a legitimate possibility.  And Seattle has a very young squad – they are known for their exceptionally vibrant defense and I can’t help but think for some reason he’s not going to fit in.

Is this a hastily put together assessment of these two signings?  Probably.  Was it nearly as thorough as the Jim Irsay piece I put up yesterday?  Of course not.  But to be honest with you, I don’t really feel comfortable putting forth even this much effort when I don’t think either of these signings will benefit the teams involved.  There’s always a chance, but I highly doubt it.

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